Chapter 23: Forgiveness

Disclaimer: I don’t own Spirited Away. Just re-posting the story by moviefan-92

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Yuteela was staring Chihiro down. She was still so full of anger, and it was still directed at Chihiro. No, that wasn’t exactly true. Her anger was directed at those that destroyed her forest; she was merely taking her anger out on Chihiro since she was the closest Yuteela could get to the ones that truly wronged her.

For years, Yuteela had wanted revenge, her anger building up as she allowed it to consume her. But she had been saving her rage to take out on the humans, and now it was exploding out all at once. Years of built up fury was finally coming out, and Chihiro happened to be the unlucky one it was being unleashed on.

“Leave me alone, Yuteela!” Chihiro shouted.

“No, not until I’ve had my revenge!” the forest spirit snapped. “Not until justice is served!”

“What justice?” Chihiro bellowed. “I have done nothing! I did not tear down your forest!”

“But you would have! You’re just like the others! Selfish and coldhearted! You’d jump at the chance to kill me!”

Chihiro didn’t back down. She felt more sure of herself, more confident and understanding. A result of her transformation? Perhaps. But she was not going to be blamed for what other people did.

“You have no right to make that claim!” she cried. “You don’t know me! You can’t judge me like that!”

“Silence!”

Yuteela pounced, diving at Chihiro with her fangs exposed. Chihiro’s first instinct was to run, that is, until a new one took over. An instinct to defend herself; to use her new powers. Thanks to the knowledge given to her by the spirit of life, several spells flew through her mind.

Chihiro raised her hand with her index and thumb fingertips pressed together. She made a quick movement with her hand and Yuteela changed from a giant spider-like creature to a small white cat, crashing to the ground by Chihiro’s feet.

Chihiro’s eyes widened as she stared down at the cat that was Yuteela in disbelief. ‘Did I do that?’ she thought in amazement.

The cat blinked in confusion, not quite understanding what had happened. She looked up at Chihiro and her eyes widened. Yuteela hissed in fright and retreated back several feet where she proceeded to hiss and claw the air.

Chihiro opened her mouth to say something, but No-Face suddenly rushed forward, seizing Yuteela by her tail.

“No-Face!” Chihiro cried. The monster ignored her as he opened his mouth and dropped the squealing cat inside. “No-Face, don’t! Stop!”

No-Face turned to her, grunting with his mouth full. Yuteela’s cattail thrashed around wildly between his lips as she screeched loudly from inside No-Face’s mouth.

Chihiro held out her and, silently asking for the cat. No-Face shook his head in objection. Chihiro narrowed her eyes. “No-Face, give me.” The monster shook his head again. “Now, No-Face.”

No-Face frowned but did as he was told. He turned away and spat Yuteela out, making sure to cover her in as much spit as possible. Yuteela made a disgusted noise at being covered in the monster’s drool. She shook herself dry and turned to Chihiro looking confused.

Chihiro motioned for No-Face to step back as she knelt down by the cat. “Now if you promise to behave, I’ll change you back. Or I could just leave now and you’ll be stuck like this until the spell wears off. It’s up to you. Will you behave?”

Yuteela looked irritated, or as irritated as a cat could look, by being bossed around, but she nodded in agreement, wanting to get out of this cat body.

Chihiro smiled and stood up. She searched through the knowledge the spirit of life granted her and removed the spell. The small white cat immediately changed back into Yuteela’s humanoid form. She growled in annoyance as she shook the remainder of No-Face’s slobber off before turning all four eyes back on Chihiro.

“Remember your promise.” Chihiro said, preparing to cast another spell in case Yuteela had lied.

The forest spirit’s eyes narrowed. “I remember.” She hissed. She continued to glare at Chihiro, but then her eyes softened. “Why did you protect me?”

Chihiro blinked. “Huh?”

Yuteela nodded towards No-Face. “You stopped him from eating me. Why?”

Chihiro looked surprised that the question was even asked. “Why wouldn’t I stop him? I didn’t want you to get eaten.” Her eyes suddenly widened with understanding. “You wondering why a human saved you, aren’t you?” Yuteela just growled. Chihiro took that as a yes. “I know what you’ve brought yourself to believe all these years, but not all humans are the way you think they are. Many are kind and caring.”

“But I tried to kill you.”

Chihiro shrugged. “You’re not the first.”

“Even spirits wouldn’t hesitate to kill the one that attempted to kill them.”

Chihiro crossed her arms. “What a few do does not mean everyone of their species is the same. I am not like that, Yuteela. I do not kill and I do not hurt others. You’ve allowed your anger to blind your judgment. You’ve managed to convince yourself that all humans are wicked creatures. Well no matter what you believe or what you want to believe does not make it true. And even though you tried to kill me, I forgive you, because that’s the kind of person I am.”

“Ah, ah!” No-Face nodded in agreement.

Yuteela was silent. She looked like she was trying to come to terms with something. What Chihiro was saying and doing went against everything Yuteela had managed to convince herself to expect from humans.

“How do I know this isn’t some trick?” she demanded.

Chihiro growled. “A trick? I am not trying to trick anyone. What would I gain out of it? You’re just trying to hold onto your belief that humans are heartless. You’ve been angry for so long that you don’t want your opinion to change.”

Yuteela didn’t reply. Chihiro knew that she had pretty much hit the nail on the head. Yuteela could always convince herself that Chihiro had been lying, but after actually witnessing the human’s goodness, she couldn’t say that the girl was heartless without lying to herself.

Chihiro knew that Yuteela was struggling with her emotions. She also remembered what Lord Okaia told her she must do; bring sadness to anger. She decided to do that by bringing up something that she had started to suspect about the forest spirit.

“Yuteela, from what the spirit of life told me, you’ve been angry at humans for taking your forest from you for so long that you’ve let your anger consume you. But, have you ever stopped feeling angry long enough to mourn your loss?”

Yuteela’s eyes widened at this unexpected question. “What?”

“I really feel sorry for you, but you don’t seem to have any sorrow in you; only anger. You keep saying how much it hurts, yet you don’t seem sad at all. Why not?”

“I… I…” Yuteela realized that she had no answer. And only now did she discover that Chihiro was right. She never did mourn her loss. From the day her forest was torn down until this very day, she had been so caught up in her rage that she never allowed herself to feel sad. “I wanted revenge. It was all I wanted, all I was focusing on. Everyday that went by I kept thinking about my revenge, but I never got it. That made me angrier. And when the humans that tore down my forest passed on, it only fueled my anger, knowing that they were beyond my reach. I cursed them and all of their kind. Not a day went by that I didn’t think of how I was wronged. So, no… I never actually allowed myself to feel sorry…”

Chihiro truly pitied the woman. So much anger and so much pain, but she never allowed herself to feel her sorrow for her loss. “It’s ok to feel angry. But you can’t let one emotion consume you. It’s ok to feel sorry for yourself. It’s ok to weep every now and then.” A smiled slightly. “See, you’re doing it now.”

Yuteela blinked in surprise. She reached up and felt the moisture pouring from her eyes. She was indeed crying. Chihiro had proven that not all humans were wicked and destructive. Yuteela could no longer take her anger out on this girl. So something else erupted inside her. Sadness. All the sorrow and pain that had been buried beneath her fury was coming out now. It had been there all along, she just never allowed herself to feel it since she was so consumed by her rage.

“I’m crying…” she whispered in disbelief. “I haven’t cried in thousands of years. Not since I was a child.”

“Crying is a way of letting out your sorrow.” Chihiro muttered. “We were given these emotions so we could express them. God knows that I’ve done my share of crying in the past. Let your anger go. The ones that wronged you are gone. You’ve been mad for long enough. Now let yourself mourn your loss.”

Chihiro was actually surprised by her speech. She had never spoken like this before. Perhaps she was speaking of the 12 years she had wallowed in her own sorrow. Or maybe this was knowledge given to her when the spirit of life began her transformation. Whatever it was, it was definitely having an effect on Yuteela.

The forest spirit wiped her eyes and looked down at Chihiro. “So what do you expect me to do? I can never forgive those humans for what they’ve done to me.”

“I’m not asking you to.” Said Chihiro quietly. “All I’m asking is that you don’t let the actions of what a few do affect your opinion of all others.”

Yuteela looked at Chihiro carefully, thinking about what she was asking of her. “I do not know if I can ever bring myself to accept that humans are like you… but I will remember your words. I have indeed let my anger blind me. My grudge against the ones that wronged me will probably never end, but I can no longer hold that grudge against all of human kind.”

Chihiro smiled. “That is all I could ever ask of you. Thank you, Yuteela.”

Yuteela shook her head. “No, thank you, human. If it wasn’t for you, I would still be consumed by my rage. So thank you… Chihiro. That is you’re name, correct?”

Chihiro nodded. “Yes.”

Yuteela gave her a small, yet sad, and turned away. She didn’t look back as she walked away in the direction she had chased Chihiro in. Chihiro watched her go, not having anything else to say to her. She had done what she was asked to do. She brought sadness to anger. She just wished that she could do more to help. But that was up to Yuteela now. She was on the road to recovery and would proceed down it at her own pace.

“Ah, ah.”

No-Face began pulling on her hand. Everything suddenly came back to Chihiro as No-Face pulled her. She had almost forgot the whole reason she had come out here to begin with. Now she needed to get back.

“Ok, No-Face, lets go.” She said. “But… how do I fly?”

She closed her eyes and went through the knowledge the spirit of life granted her. It was strange. A lot of this new knowledge she felt like she knew all along, but she just hadn’t see it.

She searched for her dragon form. She felt it, but it seemed to be out of reach. Somehow she knew that she would not have access to it until she completely became a spirit. But then how was she supposed to fly?

The answer came to her as she searched through her memories. Back to the time when she had returned Haku’s name. He had reverted back to his human form, yet they still flew through the air. She searched for that power and found it. Once she did, it seemed almost second nature as her feet slowly lifted off the ground.

“Ah, ah, ah!”

Chihiro chuckled and held her hand out to No-Face, lifting him in the air with her. “Come on, guys. I only have until this time tomorrow to complete my transformation.” Yu-bird screeched and flew in circles around her head. Chihiro chuckled. “Don’t worry, I know the way. I’m not sure how, but somehow I know the way back.”

(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)

Lord Okaia sighed as he set the card aside. So she had done it. She had brought sadness to anger. The cycle was almost complete. He was certain that she would make it to the bathhouse in time, but now the question was would she be able to survive the one filled with hate. Until she became a full-fledged spirit, she was still vulnerable to death. And even if she did survive, was Haku strong enough to fight off the affects of the sleeping herbs he had foolishly been given in time to help Chihiro complete the transformation.

“This is the most important and most dangerous part of your journey, Chihiro.” The sorcerer whispered. “You’ve done your part, now it’s up to your dragon. By all accounts, he shouldn’t wake for at least another three days.” His golden eyes turned to the card that had brought a tear to his eye earlier. “I will do what I must so you and Kohaku will not face the same path that my love and I have. But there is only so much I can do.”

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“How could we be so stupid?” Lin shouted for the thousandth time. “We should have just left Haku alone. But no, we had to be all helpful and give him something to help him sleep. What were we thinking?”

Kamajii was doing his best to calm down the near paranoid spirit, a failed attempt. “Now Lin, calm down. Chihiro will be fine. It wouldn’t be the first time someone has attempted to kill her.”

Lin glared at him. “Is that supposed to make me feel better?”

“Um…”

“Just shut up.”

Kamajii was getting annoyed by Lin’s attitude, but he knew that if he showed his own frustration that it would only aggravate Lin even more. And he did not want that. “Don’t worry so much. Haku should wake up soon. I mean, how much sleeping herb did you use.”

Lin’s aggravation seemed to vanish to be replaced by guilt. “Um… all of it.”

Kamajii’s mouth dropped open. “Say what? You used all of it! I told you just to use the smallest amount.”

“We wanted to make sure he got a good night’s sleep!” Lin cried defensively. “We didn’t know how much to use.”

Kamajii smacked his forehead. “So you decided to use all of it. Oh yeah, that’s logical. Why didn’t you just ask me? I could have told you the right amount. Great, he’ll be asleep for a week. And you say that Chihiro will be back tomorrow?”

“What do you think I’ve been screaming about for the past hour?” Lin shouted.

Kamajii growled. “Well just be glad that I have something to wake him up.”

Lin’s head shot up. “You do?”

“That’s what I just said.” Kamajii muttered, going over to one of his cabinets. He opened it up and gasped. “It’s gone!”

Lin’s eyes widened. “What?”

“I said it’s go-”

“I heard what you said! How can in be gone?”

Kamajii folded his arms. “Well there’s 2 possibilities. Either I ran out, and I know I didn’t, because the jar was full earlier, and I keep it right next to the sleeping herb. The other option is that someone took it. Someone who obviously doesn’t want Haku to wake up in time.”

Lin took a few deep calming breaths. “Ok, ok, maybe this is a good thing. It had to have been someone who was in here earlier. That can help us find the killer. So, besides me, Rita, Clam, Bôh, and your soot balls, who else has come in here?”

“Um…” Kamajii scratched his head. “A few people have come to get different ingredients. I didn’t really keep track.” Lin glared at him. “Hey, I was busy!”

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The one filled with hate, as Lord Okaia called them, was waiting for Chihiro to return. The others were aware of their intentions; Lord Okaia had spilled the beans. But they were much smarter than anyone gave them credit for. The human would die if she ever came back. And they knew she would come back, for she was in love with Haku.

‘A human and a spirit together. Bah! It’s disgusting!’ they thought.

They would never allow such a union. They mentally kicked themselves for not finishing the human off earlier. They should have done it those 12 years ago when the human first came to the spirit world. But they had been patient. Human or not, Yubaba wouldn’t be happy if they had killed one of her employees. They also knew that the human had wanted to go back to the human world, and she did.

That time everything worked out fine, but then the human had come back 12 years later, and this time she wanted to stay! They were outraged at the time, but they kept quiet. Everyone else was happy to have the human back, so they put on an act. They had decided to see how things would turn out.

Their patience was rewarded when they found out that Haku was planning on sending the human back to her world. They were glad that he had decided to do that. But then the human had run away, and as much of a relief as it was to have the disgusting human gone, it made Haku realize that he loved her too much to live without her.

That had been the final straw. They had decided that if the human ever came back that they would kill her. They had waited quietly as Haku had gone off to bring his so-called true love back. When Haku had come back empty handed, they thought that the human had either returned to her world, or, preferably, died, but no such luck. In fact, the human had gone on some kind of quest to become a spirit herself. That had outraged them. That disgusting creature wasn’t even worthy of her mortal life, let alone the one of a spirit.

Still, they had to be patient and lay low. They couldn’t blow their cover. Every move they made was critical; especially since the others were aware of the danger the human was in. They had to be careful; they knew they were being watched. Kamajii’s soot balls were good at spying on people, but they left traces of soot behind, not such a good thing if you wanted to spy on someone.

But things were finally looking up. The human should be returning tomorrow and Haku was in a deep sleep. By the time he woke up, the human would be dead, and no one would have a clue as to who did it.

Of course, everyone, especially Haku, would mourn the human’s death. They could play along; they’d done it before. And eventually everyone would realize that life was much better without the miserable human around.

But then there was the problem of the human becoming a spirit. That would make her nearly impossible to kill, but even spirits could be killed if it was done the right way. The only problem would be how powerful the human would be if she became a spirit. It would be best not to take any chances and waste the opportunity to kill her. They would have to be really sneaky. Creep up unexpectedly and finish her off. Then all will be well again.

‘All too easy.’ They thought as they tossed the stolen waking aid into the river.

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